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Music Cities Awards applicants:"Best Initiative to Support Music Education & Career Development"


Best Initiative to Support Music Education & Career Development

The category "Best Initiative to Support Music Education & Career Development" is presented by the Music Business Association.


The Music Cities Awards are presented by Saxony - State of the Arts. This is a global competition designed to acknowledge and reward the most outstanding applications of music for economic, social, environmental and cultural development in cities and places all around the world.


As the announcement of the nominees (on August 3rd) and the awards ceremony (October 18th as part of the Huntsville Music Cities Convention) are getting closer, we're excited to share the amazing and inspiring group of applicants for each of the contest categories.


Scroll down to discover this year's applicants for "Best Initiative to Support Music Education & Career Development", an impressive list of projects from different corners of the world that tackle music education and career development from different perspectives, whether it is focused on diversity, technology, the social change market, migration, youth, disabilities and more.


Best Initiative to Support Music Education & Career Development

Diversify the Stage Programs (U.S.A.): Through the DTS apprenticeship program, the organisation provides access, education, mentorship, employment, and community to their Rising Stars. The 2023 Apprenticeship Program Supports 25 individuals ages 18-25 from disproportionately impacted communities (women, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, non-binary, disabled, and all intersecting identities between these groups) - who typically also face other barriers such as coming from low socio-economic backgrounds - to discover and pursue their professional dreams. This is the 3rd year of the program, and its success year to year has been life changing for its cohorts, many of which have gone on to full-time employment upon completion with some of the largest companies and artists in the industry.


Musician Changemaker Accelerator by Music to Life (U.S.A.): Music to Life (MtL) is a U.S.-based nonprofit, born from the activism and music of Noel Paul Stookey (of the 1960's folk trio, Peter, Paul & Mary) and his daughter, Liz—to connect socially conscious musicians with the resources needed to realise their bold visions for community change. MtL offers a coordinated ecosystem of services where musicians of all genres can find community, training and technical assistance around their calling as change agents. Their innovative

Musician Changemaker Accelerator (MCA) helps artists turn their creative ideas into sustainable, music-driven programs for communities facing persistent racial, environmental or economic injustices.


FUTURX (Argentina): FUTURX is a Latin American community focused on learning and exchanging ideas about music and web3-based technology.The project was created to address the need for a continuous, peer-to-peer learning space at the intersection of music and technology within the Latin American region.


The Music Education Initiative (U.S.A.): MEI is an organisation that exists to engage, educate, elevate and prepare the next generation of professionals in the business of music, entertainment and live events for workforce and economic development.


XP by MDLBEAST (Saudi Arabia): MDLBEAST is a leading global music entertainment company based in Saudi Arabia, dedicated to showcasing both established and emerging local, regional, and international talent. MDLBEAST has several divisions including MDLBEAST Records, Gaboo, MDLBEAST Presents, MDLBEAST Foundation and its XP Music Futures, MDLBEAST Frequencies, Beast FM, and many other endeavours. Since its launch in 2021, XP, the official annual music conference of MDLBEAST Foundation, has become an essential platform for the advancement of the Saudi music industry, music education and career development in the MENA region. XP's sessions aim to inspire and direct artists, entrepreneurs, and policymakers, providing them with tools and strategies to shape their music futures in the region.


Crossroads School of American Music: Delta Sessions 101 by GRAMMY Museum Mississippi (U.S.A.): GRAMMY Museum Mississippi (GMM), housed near the campus of Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, offers a wide range of public and educational programming, and features dynamic and interactive permanent and temporary exhibits. The Museum aims to educate visitors and program participants about the creative process and music history – often examining the intersection of music and culture – while highlighting the many accomplishments of Mississippians and their impact on the American musical landscape. Since opening in 2016, GMM has hosted visitors from every U.S. state and 48 foreign countries, along with 32,000 students and 2,700 educators from 13 states.


“Re.prise” by Les SMAQ (Canada): Les Scènes de Musique Alternatives du Québec (Les SMAQ) is an organization whose main aim is to represent smaller independent music venues so as to give them a voice and defend their interests. Their members represent more than 75% of the music concerts in Québec each year. Les SMAQ offers resources sharing, collective promotion, and professional development to its members. The organisation put in place a number of post-pandemic projects, including the professional development project "Re‧prise" ("Re-launch" in English) over 2022 and 2023. The program served hundreds of francophone contract workers across Canada. 44 workshops and training sessions took place between October 2022 and March 2023.


Concerts in the Classroom by Microwave Dave Music Education Foundation (U.S.A.): The Microwave Dave Music Education Foundation (MDMEF) is a organisation devoted to music

Education. The "Concerts in the Classroom" program features lesson plans created jointly by schools, local musicians and MDMEF, reflecting appropriate academic standards. Music is used as a tool to inspire and inform students on virtually any subject. The Danny Hall Memorial Scholarship provides one year of free music lessons to talented young people who could not otherwise afford musical training. Two scholarships are awarded each Fall. The Foundation works with local musicians, educators and teachers to support and promote music education in North Alabama.


ASU Popular Music Industry Career Conference by Arizona State University (U.S.A.): The Popular Music Program at ASU is a contemporary and multi-disciplinary music degree program steeped in a culture of both excellence and inclusion. This initiative is trying to play a part in the development of the music scene in Phoenix, while also creating sustainable futures for our music students by giving them access to industry, both domestic and local. It brings together an amazing group of professionals from major cities, as well as Phoenix's top players, to spend time with our students and the local music community. By bridging the disconnect between the communities, the program works to give people the opportunities to expand their network, learn from relevant working industry folks, build infrastructure, be heard/seen, and start imagining what's possible for their futures.


Free Afterschool Music Program for Underserved Youth by Rosie's House: A Music Academy for Children (U.S.A): Rosie's House mission is to eliminate barriers to high-quality music education for underserved youth in the Phoenix, AZ area. They support youth as they develop their full creative and personal potential. 100% of their students are at or below federal HUD low-income thresholds and the average household income is less than $35,000 a year. Many of their students' schools do not offer a music program and Rosie's House is the only access point they have for music education. At Rosie's House, highly-qualified faculty provide instruction in 8 departments: Piano, Strings, Winds, Choir, Mariachi, Guitar, Digital Music, and Early Childhood Music Explorations, a high-impact, bi- lingual class for ages 4-6.


Open Music Lab (Germany): The Open Music Lab is a space where anyone can learn how to create, record, and share. All of their workshops and courses are free of charge for the students and offer a place for Berlin's diverse communities to connect and create together. They are committed to including and supporting refugees, asylum seekers, people who identify as female, non-binary and LGBTQI+, people of colour, and people with disabilities. Open Music Lab is born from the realisation that many marginalised communities face structural barriers and discrimination, which can hinder their access to and opportunities in the music industry. Music education can often feel exclusive due to the high costs associated with learning, as well as the equipment and tools required to make music.


Irish Institute of Music & Song (Ireland): The Irish Institute of Music and Song (IIMS) in Dublin, Ireland is a non-profit music organisation dedicated to the provision of excellence-driven music education and performance opportunities in Ireland's most diverse community. Established in 2019, the organisation strives to make an extraordinary impact on the lives of its community, serving as an inclusive dynamic hub for music education and career development. IIMS currently caters for over 400 vocal and instrumental students weekly.


Music For Life by Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (U.S.A.): The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra's mission is to transform people and communities through music. It is dedicated to maintaining live orchestral music as an integral part of the cultural and educational life of the New Orleans area, the entire state of Louisiana, and the Gulf South region. Formed in 1991, the LPO is the oldest full-time musician-governed and collaboratively-operated orchestra in the United States. Steeped in history yet focused on innovation, the LPO is the only full-time collaboratively governed and operated orchestra in the United States. LPO Academy, formerly Music for Life (M4L), was conceived from the desire to fulfil a growing need for formal music instruction in New Orleans schools.


The Indian Music Diaries (India):The Indian Music Diaries primarily being a multi faceted editorial, provides a platform for emerging artists to showcase their talent and gain recognition. The idea of The Indian Music Diaries was conceived in the month of September back in 2015 as a platform which dedicatedly talks about the Independent music movement in India. Since then, the platform has grown into what it is today – celebrating the work of professionals working in the independent music industry and reaching out to thousands upon thousands of fans each day. Apart from being an editorial platform, it hosts and curates various interactive sessions and workshops for our community.


BIME (Spain): BIME is an international music industry event that has been held since 2013 in Bilbao (Basque Country) and, from 2022, also in Bogotá (Colombia). In this way, it expands its space to reflect on the challenges that drive the future of the sector and the enjoyment of live music in Latin America. BIME reinforces its commitment to establish alternative routes in the music industry that facilitate and multiply artistic and professional flows between Latin America and Europe, generating economic, cultural, and relational growth opportunities for artists, professionals, companies, students and startups and audiences directly or indirectly linked to music. All of this is supported by the linguistic bond of a language shared by nearly 600 million people.


Sound of Soul Recording Studio and Multimedia Institute by CED Society (India): CED (Children's Educational Development) Society is a multifaceted, non-profit outreach centre supporting disabled and disadvantaged women, located in Dehradun, India. Since its founding in 2000 by Lama Tenzin Choegyal, CED Society has launched a number of initiatives aimed at improving the lives of women and girls. Himalayankids is an orphanage

and education centre focused on improving the lives of disadvantaged girls from villages in the Himalayan border region, primarily the remote Dolpo region of Nepal. PinkPads is a women's health service focused on producing and distributing sanitary pads and women's hygiene packages to women in need throughout Uttarakhand. GIFT (Girls' Institute For

Technology) is an IT and professional training program for women with disabilities with the aim of financial independence. And in 2018, CED Society launched the Sound of Soul Recording Studio and Multimedia Institute, a professional recording studio dedicated to empowering disabled and disadvantaged women through musical and artistic expression.


Kirklees Year of Music 2023 - Music Industry by Kirklees Council (Great Britain): Kirklees Year of Music 2023 (KYOM23), is a unique, place-based, cultural change programme initiated and led by Kirklees Council. 2023 is designated as a district wide Year of Music and, through investment in the diverse music talent, communities and businesses, the year-long programme of events, activities and projects, will strengthen Kirklees's music ecology and economy. Kirklees is a place where children and young people, businesses and third sector organisations have access to high quality musical experiences, education and business support; and where current professionals and next generation of musicians can build and sustain a high-quality career, with access to the very best industry advice, career opportunities and performance routes.


Kindergarten Music Teachers Training Program by Saudi Arabia’s Music Commission (Saudi Arabia): The Music Commission was established in February 2020 as one of the Ministry of Culture's 11 sector-specific Commissions. The Commission is overseeing the development of a music sector that provides non-discriminatory access to music education, empowers musical talent, and contributes to the local economy. The Commission hopes to discover, develop, and empower musical talent by raising awareness of the Kingdom's rich musical heritage, in turn elevating its musical identity both within the region and beyond. In the context of the change in music's national status from being forbidden only 5 years ago to compulsory in schools next year, female kindergarten teachers are receiving music education training for the first time in the Kingdom making them the pioneers in the field.


The Music Cities Awards Ceremony will take place on October 18th as part of the Huntsville Music Cities Convention. The last Early Bird Price tickets for the event will be available until the end of July. Head here to get yours.


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The Music Business Association

The Music Business Association exists to connect, educate and empower the global music business community. It has a commitment to reflect the global music industry by ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of their events and initiatives, as well as in their Board of Directors and staff.


The Association carries on many ongoing projects to strenghthen the global music business community. These includie the Music Biz Annual Conference, Bizzy Awards, #NEXTGEN_U Student Summit, Music Biz Mental Health Fund, a podcast series and ongoing webinars, amongst many other activities. Click on their website to find all about them.

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